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Philosophy

Gregory Brazeal

Skepticism

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The Alleged Pragmatism Of T.S. Eliot, Gregory Brazeal Jan 2006

The Alleged Pragmatism Of T.S. Eliot, Gregory Brazeal

Gregory Brazeal

Before gaining recognition as a poet, T.S. Eliot pursued a doctoral degree in philosophy. His dissertation on the philosophy of F.H. Bradley has been a source of longstanding critical dispute. Some read the dissertation as a defense of Bradley’s views, while others read it as a repudiation of Bradley in favor of a kind of American philosophical pragmatism. This essay considers whether the dissertation can be properly characterized as pragmatist, despite Eliot’s enthusiastic and repeated dismissals of William James’ philosophy of truth. Eliot comes closest to a Jamesian view of belief when he writes of the ...